Social media strategy – 9 steps how to plan brand communication

how to prepare a Social Media strategy

If you want to run a marathon – you need a systematic training plan.
If you want to professionally run customer channels in Social Media – you need a STRATEGY.

It determines the direction of your activities, it is a kind of plan that will allow you to achieve the planned (or even better) results!
In the following article, you’ll learn how to prepare a Social Media strategy for yourself or your clients. What should it contain and why without it, your actions may fail. At the outset, I would like to point out that the strategy may be more or less complex – it depends on you and your expectations. However, it is important that you stick to a few points that should be included in the strategy. To create and implement it – this is our plan. Let’s get started!

1. Analysis of the initial situation

SWOT analysis is one of the analytical techniques necessary when creating a strategy (not only social media). By determining the strengths and weaknesses of your company / organization, as well as opportunities and threats – we build a solid basis for the analysis of the initial situation, which is the first element of the entire social media strategy.

How to prepare a Social Media strategy

2. Who are you talking to? – meet your interlocutor.

Who is your ideal customer? Who is he? Who would be interested to hear about you, your product? If you don’t know that, how do you want to get to him?
Why are the most challenging questions, because consumers will not tell you why they buy or not, why they liked, shared or left your website. Often they do not know it themselves, they will give you a rational answer while making decisions emotionally.
How do customers buy – what is their digital path? When do they look for information, when do they make a decision and when do they buy? These questions generate further questions, e.g. when is the best time to post? How do users navigate between online and offline channels?

There are many more questions and new ones arise as they are asked. Start with three areas:

WHO?
* Who are your current customers?
* Who are the customers you want to acquire?
* Who is the perfect customer?
* Who are the people who buy your products?
* Who are the people visiting your website?
* Who are the people who leave your website?
* Who are the recipients of your newsletter?
* Who are your followers / fans on FB / LI / IG / YT / TT?
* Who are the people who click on your ads?
* Who are the people who are talking about your brand?
* Who are the people who influence your customers (e.g. relatives, influencers)?

WHY?
Why or why not:
* Are they on the site?
* Click?
* They buy?
* Like / Follow / Comment?
* Are they watching?
* Are they talking about the brand?
* Go away?
* Urge / recommend?
* What are their needs / motivations / desires?

HOW?
* How do your customers buy? on / off / often / rarely?
* How do they find your brand?
* What channels are they visiting?
* What does their customer journey look like?
* How much time do they spend on / in ..?
* How do they search for information / what questions do they ask?
* How do they perceive the brand / what do they think about it?
* How do they react to the website / our channels / activities?
* How does the competition do it?

To find out who is talking about the brand and how, you can use three main sources:
* customer service department, who has direct contact with the client – you can ask who is in touch, what is most often asked, what topics are discussed,
* opinions on the website, in social media,
* social listeningu – by monitoring words related to the brand, its name, but also products and contexts of use. Using the example with mattresses, you can create several phrases to monitor, e.g. mattress + sleep, comfortable mattress, what mattress + to choose / buy, in order to get to know the channels in which there is the greatest number of discussions, topics discussed – what people choosing a mattress pay attention to , you could say sky is the limit.

How to prepare a Social Media strategy

3. What actions have already been taken?

Do not plan further actions or implementation of changes until you answer the question of what you have already done and with what effect. Take a closer look at the activities carried out so far, take a closer look at them taking the optics of an observer from outside. Go through the questions below point by point, write down your answers. Writing it down will help you when comparing with the competition and looking from a different perspective.
Supporting questions:
* What channels are we present in and what tactics do we use?
* How are they integrated – interconnected?
* How are they integrated with offline activities?
* What do you want to communicate?
* What do you communicate in the channels you use?
* What revenues / effects did we expect from particular activities and what did we achieve?
* What of the activities undertaken worked and what did not work?
* What has worked best in recent campaigns?
* How do customers react to our activity?

 

The perfect solution is to conduct an audit for each of the channels used in terms of technical, communication (content + visual aspect), audience engagement, number of people, e.g. who visit the website, open the newsletter, click, enter, etc. If you are unable to order an audit, try to approach it yourself by analyzing what is available, i.e. the communication that recipients see and data from web analytical panels, social media, newsletter sending programs.
Remember that what you want to convey will not always be received exactly as planned. Therefore, conduct a small test, even 3-4 people are enough. You will give two people a task to enter your website (or Facebook, LinkedIn, the channel you choose) and find specific information about the product or service you offer.
Immediately after completing this task, ask if they found what was the most challenging for them, what was intuitive and what was not, what they had a hard time with.
The other two people should also visit your website or selected channel and after 5 minutes tell what they learned from the information provided. Thanks to this, you will see what they paid attention to and whether they would surely obtain the information you wanted.

How to prepare a Social Media strategy

4. We set measurable goals of activities in social media: business and communication.

What is worth emphasizing in this point? First of all, the word “measurable”. I wrote earlier about the SWOT analysis. In this step, the SMART analysis comes to mind, i.e. 5 determinants on the basis of which we should formulate goals:

We set measurable goals for activities in social media: business and communication
What is worth emphasizing in this point? First of all, the word “measurable”. To do this, perform a SWOT analysis. At this step, the SMART analysis also comes to mind, i.e. determinants on the basis of which we should formulate goals.

IMPORTANT: Let us remember that the goals we set should be agreed with the people who will hold us accountable for them. Otherwise, it may turn out that we pursue some goals unnecessarily, in a wrong way or too little effectively.

 

5. Main messages, or what do we want to convey to our target groups?

When we get as much data as possible about our target group, the question remains: what to convey to these groups, how, how often. What will be helpful here? Formulating a few main messages that we will want to use in our activities.

Message House. This tool is based on a house template, in which we enter the name of the organization or the campaign being implemented, and then we describe four areas: the full picture (Big Picture), the benefits of our activities for the target group, what activities we expect from this group and what potential criticism may arise. appear.

6. We formulate “Big idea”

The term “Big Idea”, i.e. the general concept of communication activities, may seem unnecessary – especially when we have defined target groups, general and specific goals and main messages. However, it often happens that in a large amount of detailed data, we can lose this main idea along the way. A big idea is often 1-2 sentences that define our idea for a campaign / communication, it is also often related to the mission of our company / organization.

7. We define the schedule and budget

When planning a budget for expenses in social media, remember about two important aspects: internal expenses and labor costs of subcontractors. Planning a budget and schedule will allow us to more easily measure the effectiveness of our activities. It is important that we list all the issues that apply to both – even the smallest, for example:
* the time it takes us to create 1 entry,
* profile preparation costs: graphics, applications, texts,
* advertising costs,
* resources – the number of people that are needed to handle individual channels (whether they will be people from the company or an employed agency),
* costs of tools for measuring the effects.
It is also worth trying to have a detailed schedule of our activities in social media, depending on the previously created personas.

With a cost estimate written out, it will be easier for us to monitor our activities over time, as well as plan further ones.

8. We implement the activities planned by us 🙂

You have to get up in the morning on a beautiful day and start.

9. Were our actions effective? We monitor and evaluate the effects.

To measure our activities effectively, we need to know WHAT exactly to measure and how. The first determinant, or “CO” – results directly from the goals we set, which, as I wrote, must be measurable. Therefore, if for specific purposes we specified: “increase in the number of fans on Facebook by 1000 per month” – it can be easily measured.
Measurement tools will also be important. Their choice will also depend on the goals we set at the beginning of creating the strategy. These can be both content analysis tools: Sotrender, internal website statistics, surveys or web analytics, eg Google Analytics.

How to prepare a Social Media strategy

 

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